These Vegan “Meatballs” with Spicy Roasted Eggplants Dip will not disappoint, whether you are a meat lover in a search of good party food, or a vegan seeking a good alternative to meat dishes.
If you are a meat lover, please don't tune out just yet. Just because you love your meat doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a good, tasty vegan dish.
And for those occasions, or to serve to your vegetarian and vegan friends, I have just the dish: Vegan "meatballs" with spicy roasted eggplants dip. It's to die for.
OK, maybe that was a poor choice of words.
So, give these delicious balls a try, they are tasty, crunchy, filling, and the dip is to die for.
Maybe I should stop using that expression. Nobody was harmed in the making of this dish.
Vegan “Meatballs” with Spicy Roasted Eggplant Dip Recipe
For the balls
- 3 slices of whole-wheat bread
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 small white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 sprigs of parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of chickpeas , boiled soft
- 1 cup of lentils , boiled soft
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
For the dip
- 1 large eggplant (6" or 13 cm aprox), or equivalent
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small red onion , chopped
- 1 bell pepper , chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes , chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic , sliced
- A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of salt , or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper , or to taste
- 1 hot pepper of your preference
For the balls
- Pulse the bread in the food processor until it has the texture of coarse sugar. Reserve.
- Mix bell pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, pepper and salt and pulse in the food processor until you obtain a coarse paste. Reserve.
- Pulse the chickpeas in the food processor just long enough to break them into smaller pieces (a quarter of their original size).
- Mix chickpeas, lentils, breadcrumbs and seasoning paste from step 2. Mix well. Taste and add salt to taste if you find it necessary.
- Make the paste into balls of about 1 1/2" in diameter. Reserve.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
- Pan fry balls long enough to turn brown on the outside. Rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
For the dip
- Put the eggplants directly on the fire in your stove. When the side on the fire has blackened turn until the whole eggplant has turned black.
- Immediately soak in cold water. Using a spoon, remove and discard the peel.
- Heat oil over low heat in a skillet or pan. Cook and stir the onions until they turn translucent.
- Stir in bell pepper, tomatoes and garlic. Cook and stir for a minute.
- Add the eggplants, nutmeg and cilantro and stir until the cilantro wilts. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature
- Season with pepper and salt to taste.
- Place in a food processor. Add hot pepper to taste.
- Serve balls with the dip.